Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
What is an Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)?
An endoscopic ultrasound, or EUS, involves utilizing an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube) through a patient’s mouth or anus to confirm or diagnose certain gastrointestinal disorders.
A small ultrasound transducer in the endoscope produces sound waves that create a viewable image of surrounding tissue. EUS is used to examine the lining and walls of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract and nearby organs such as the pancreas, liver and gallbladder.
EUS is most commonly used to stage and diagnose cancers of the esophagus, lungs, stomach, pancreas, bile duct and rectum. EUS allows physicians at Rush to stage the tumor and determine if there is local spread of the disease to lymph nodes.
EUS is also utilized for benign (noncancerous) conditions such as recurrent or chronic pancreatitis, fecal incontinence and evaluation of submucosal masses (under the surface of the gastrointestinal tract).
EUS allows for acquisition of tissue through fine needle aspiration. These can be extremely important for planning management of a cancer. In addition, fluid can be drained from cysts for diagnosis to determine if they are benign or cancerous.
Finally, using innovative interventional techniques, EUS can be used to perform nerve blocks for pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis associated pain, drainage of pancreatic psuedocysts and accessing the bile ducts in select patients with difficult ERCP.
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